These top five events are the best way to celebrate all things Canuck on Canada Day. In 2019, the holiday falls on Monday, July 1, 2019.
Make the most of the day and spend it enjoying everything from colorful (well, red and white) parades and waterfront parties to watching fantastic firework displays when the sun goes down. Best of all? Most Canada Day events in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland are absolutely free.
Most of the locations are served by transit but can get very crowded, so allow extra time to get there. Many celebrations take place all day so kids can join in the fun before nightfall when the fireworks light up the sky to celebrate Canada's birthday.
What: Granville Island's huge Canada Day celebration includes a Canada Day Parade, an official Canada Day Ceremony with cake, tasty food options from food trucks to restaurants, live music, art, and entertaining performers, and a multicultural fair.
The venue is perfect for families with young children: Bring a picnic blanket to relax and take breaks to let the kids run at the free Granville Island Water Park. There's also the Granville Island Kids' Market to keep them entertained if the sun becomes too much (or if there is a rainy day).
When: 8 a.m. - Midnight, July 1
Where: Granville Island, Vancouver, BC
What: Canada Place hosts Downtown Vancouver's biggest Canada Day celebration with a free Waterfront Party that includes live music and entertainment on three stages.
The Waterfront Party is always a popular place to head for celebrations and the entertainment lineup features musicians, performers, kids' activities, street hockey, a circus show, live citizenship ceremonies, and a lumberjack show.
Food trucks are on hand to feed the hungry masses and the Olympic Torch is usually lit in nearby Jack Poole Plaza to celebrate Canada's birthday.
When: Waterfront Party: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; parade starts at 7 p.m., July 1
Where: Canada Place
Canada Place also co-produces the Burrard Inlet Fireworks on this list, so stick around to see the spectacular show.
What: Cap off your Canada Day celebrations with this pyrotechnic extravaganza!
Barges are located in Dundarave and Coal Harbour, and the annual Fireworks Show will be visible from northwest-side Downtown (Coal Harbour, parts of Stanley Park), West Vancouver (the seawall between Ambleside and Dundarave), North Vancouver (Lower Lonsdale).
When: 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., July 1
Where: Vancouver Downtown / Coal Harbour
Note: You can't see the fireworks from English Bay or Spanish Banks / the southwest Vancouver beaches. You need to be on the northwest side of Downtown Vancouver.
What: Steveston, Richmond's historic fishing village, celebrates Canada Day with the Steveston Salmon Festival.
The fun festival includes a special themed parade and Steveston's famous salmon barbecue, where over 1200 pounds of wild salmon filets are grilled over open fire pits.
For $16.00 per plate, you can enjoy a true taste of BC—get there early, because the feast is over when they run out of salmon.
When: Steveston Salmon Festival is 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 1
Where: Steveston Village, Richmond
What: This one is not actually in Vancouver itself, but it has to make the list because Surrey's Canada Day celebration is both the biggest Canada Day event in western Canada and one of the biggest outdoor concerts in B.C. And, best of all, it's free! Stick around to see the amazing fireworks show, which follows the all-day party at 10.30 p.m. and lasts approximately 30 minutes.
When: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., July 1
Where: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, Surrey, BC
Also, be mindful of the stores that are closed on Canada Day.